Dirty water alarms Frederick

Some residents of Frederick say they are afraid to drink their tap water.  They say it's more than just the lake turning over.  Their water is yellowish brown and it's coming from Lake Frederick - their main water source.

After several tests, experts found manganese in the water; a metal often found deep in the ground.  Residents have been calling 7News all week worrying and wondering if their water is safe for drinking.  The water has an odor and a dirty tint even after its been filtered and treated as normal.

San Juanita Cavillo says the water is disgusting.  "At first we thought the kids weren't flushing the toilet," she said.  But, she says she can't use it for cooking or washing clothes either.  City Manager Robert Johnston says she's right.  The water has a foul odor and doesn't appear fit to drink.  Even though the water is pretty clear in some homes, there are plenty of people still dealing with this seemingly polluted water.

Johnston says there's a reason for it, though.  He says manganese is normally at the bottom of lakes and sends off a brownish red color when it oxidizes.  This is an unusual occurence because of the recent downpour.  The three day rains shocked the water supply after having been almost empty.

Right now, Johnston says it will be up to the residents of Frederick to decide whether or not the want to drink the water until the chemicals balance and clean out the manganese.  The water is safe to drink.  But, for now, the water supply from Lake Frederick has been closed and its being fed, instead, from Lake Tom Steed.  He knows the water doesn't look favorable, but the more people use, the faster it will pump clearer water.

They're not sure how long it will take for the entire water system to become clear, but Johnston asks that resident's be patient.  Again, no harmful chemicals or materials were found in Frederick's water source.